Starting around the end of January, a UC transfer applicant may receive a request from one of the UCs wanting unofficial transcripts. Do not let this throw you into a tizzy. There are any number of reasons a UC might request it and it is neither catastrophic nor an indication of bad news.
The email request will state that the UC wants to receive the information within five days or your admission may be put in jeopardy. And yes, they do mean time is of the essence because they want an answer. Take it seriously and answer quickly. By five days, they mean five business days, so weekends and holidays are not counted.
What they want
When a UC requests an unofficial transcript, they will accept a PDF of your transcript/s, which you can get from the CCC admissions office or usually from your CCC portal. You can also send screenshots of your course transcripts from your portal if you can’t download or get a PDF, or you may have hard copies you can scan and send. If you have several colleges that you have attended, you must send a transcript from all, unless otherwise indicated. Be sure to get the transcript to the UC in in a timely manner. If the UC needs elucidation, they will respond after you send it in. The unofficial transcript is then available to all the UCs to which you applied.
Why they want it
There are any number of reasons a UC might wish an unofficial transcript. A few might include:
- They are verifying attendance if you have a lot of colleges listed.
- They are trying to determine CA residency if classes appeared to have crossed state lines, or if you have gaps in education.
- If you noted Academic Renewal, they may wish to verify that you actually have AR and are not jumping the gun — a big no-no I mention in my book, How to Transfer to a UC from a California Community College. If you list any classes as Academic Renewal, the AR needs to be indicated on the transcript at the time of application submission. If not, you have lied in your application, because you actually have an F or D at the time of submission.
- If you have a high GPA, the UC may want to see a transcript simply for verification, as they are possibly considering you for a scholarship, such as a Regents.
If you are reading this and it’s still early February, you might want to consider getting an unofficial transcript in place, especially if you have gaps in education or multiple colleges, which might make it harder to collect on short notice. It’s also good to have, for future reference, at student orientation once you’re admitted.
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